Over 500 Afghan ex-fighters disarm in two days, UN reports

5 December 2004 – In a reflection of the growing momentum for disarmament in Afghanistan, over 500 former fighters laid down their weapons in a 48-hour period, a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMA) said today.

Between Friday and Saturday, 588 Afghan soldiers and officers handed over their arms to Afghanistan's New Beginnings Programme, Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters in Kabul. So far 26,569 members of the Afghan Military Forces have disarmed.

In another development, a UNAMA-backed 16-month training programme for the Afghan Judiciary wrapped up today.

“The program involved over 450 judges and prosecutors, around 150 of them from Kabul, the remainder from the provinces,” Mr. de Almeida e Silva said, adding that about a third of the participants were women.

Each trainee received 300 hours of practical instruction on such topics as civil, commercial, administrative and criminal law, as well as codes of conduct for the judiciary.

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